The average working American spends nearly 47 hours a week in the workplace, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. That means we spend a significant portion of our lives at our place of business. Additionally, the sedentary activities that come along with office jobs, such as sitting at our desks hunched over a computer for hours on end, can lead to chronic health problems, fatigue, obesity and poor circulation. Starting- and sticking to- a healthier lifestyle can be easier if your workplace promotes health and wellness. Here are some ways to incorporate healthy habits into your workplace:
Start a workplace wellness program. Many companies have begun to implement programs that focus on preventive health, wellness, and lifestyle modification. Workplace wellness programs encourage employees to increase physical activity, engage in healthy eating habits, and cut out tobacco use in an effort to prevent health conditions before they start. Offer wellness incentives; Rewarding staff members who engage in healthy habits is a great way to motivate and boost morale. Incentives used by some companies include additional health insurance coverage costs for employees with a healthy BMI (body mass index), blood pressure and blood sugar within a healthy range, and nonsmoking employees.
Limit unhealthy break room snacks. It’s hard to resist temptation when you work in an office with a vending machine loaded with candy and chips, or a refrigerator stocked with free soda.Enacting a corporate wellness policy that only provides healthy break room options such as fruits, organic juices, and sparkling water can help your employees make good choices when reaching for an afternoon snack.
Start an exercise club. Strength in numbers is a powerful thing. Staff members who wouldn’t otherwise choose to speed-walk around the block may do so when the rest of their department is doing it too. You can even turn an office exercise club into a friendly competition by having each club member kick in $5 at the beginning of a month, and then giving the pot to the member who has shed the most pounds by month’s end.
Provide preventive care opportunities. At the start of flu season, offer on-site vaccination to all employees. This cuts down on the likelihood of flu-related absences and also gives your staff the opportunity to get protection that they otherwise may not have the time or resources to obtain. Also, many chiropractic clinics offer chair massages for employees at local office buildings. Check into scheduling regular massage sessions for your staff in order to avoid neck and spine injuries from sitting at a computer all day.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle can be difficult- if your work environment is supportive and equally committed to good health and preventive care, getting and staying healthy will be easier for all employees. By promoting wellness in your workplace, staff members’ overall health, mental outlook, and job satisfaction may all increase, which is beneficial for everyone.